Local News

  • Payback of debt leads to tax hike

    Proposed county property tax increases in Harriman, Kingston, Oak Ridge, Oliver Springs and Rockwood have a lot to do with the county’s debt, said Roane County Executive Ron Woody.

    “We’re going to have to pay our debt, and there’s some taxes for the cities because of that,” he said Tuesday.

    Roane County is $57.4 million in debt. That figure doesn’t include interest.

    Woody said it’s possible the county is still paying debt on computers that it no longer has because of past refinancing.

  • It’s official: Harriman water, sewer rates up

    Harriman Utility Board water and sewer customers should get ready to pay more.

    Effective July 1, rates are up 3 percent for water customers and 7 percent for those receiving sewer services.

    “The sewer increase is to continue to work on pump stations and collection lines per the [Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation] order,” said Bill Young, who took over as manager of the Harriman utilities on July 1.

    Harriman is under a sewer moratorium until it meets upgrade improvements on its aging system.

  • Program REACHes for new head


  • Boat ramp condition rankles residents


  • Roane part of Retire Tennessee program

    Roane County has met the criteria to join Retire Tennessee, the state’s retiree recruitment program.
    Roane, Maury and Warren counties were announced by Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bill Hagerty as the newest counties in the 13 that are part of the active Retire Tennessee program.

  • Tax vote next week: City residents to pay more, rates down for rural folks

    Rural property owners are still in line to receive a property tax rate decrease.

    Those who own land inside the cities might not be as fortunate, however.

    The property tax rates for cities are set to increase under Roane County’s proposed budget for the 2011-12 fiscal year. The budget committee passed the proposed tax rates 3-1 on June 30.

    Commissioners Ron Berry, Bobby Collier and Jerry Goddard voted yes. Commissioner Randy Ellis voiced the lone no vote.      

  • Public housing in Harriman may lose funds

    Harriman Housing Authority is at risk of losing significant federal funds because of the poor condition of many of its developments’ streets and sidewalks.

    Officials believe the agency that oversees public housing in the city could lose at least $100,000 a year in funding unless improvements are made. That loss is one that could devastate the agency, which is already hurting from budget cuts.

  • Rockwood vice mayor matter taken off agenda

    Rockwood City Council sat for the first time Friday with its newest members — and the one bit of controversial business was quickly cut from the agenda.

    After the brief swearing-in of Mike Freeman, Jane Long, Jason Jolly and Pete Wright, who is serving a two-year term, Mayor James Watts quickly let everyone know the first proposed resolution — to make Jolly vice mayor — would not be discussed.

  • Swafford graduates 40 years after dropping out of high school

    Welzie Swafford, 57, graduated high school after 40 years Thursday evening.

    The success was especially sweet for Swafford. It was his fifth attempt in a straight 34-month period.  

    Swafford received his GED through Roane State Community College’s Adult Education program during its graduation ceremony in Roane State’s theater.

    While signing up for Social Security and disability for disc problems, Swafford was advised to finish high school after all this time.

  • Drug Task Force payment part of sentence meted

    From staff reports

    A Rockwood man charged with selling cocaine agreed to fork over some money to a fund aimed at helping law enforcement fight the war on drugs.

     Harlan Shane Clower was charged in October 2007 on two counts of selling cocaine. He appeared in Roane County Criminal Court on June 27.

    “Mr. Clower, do you agree that there are ample facts for you to enter a plea of guilty without having those stated by the attorney general?” Judge Eugene Eblen asked.